Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Darth Voter

I ran late getting home from work and was overly confident I knew the street where my polling place was and I wound up going a roundabout way, and thought about skipping out on voting, but I felt guilty about that notion. I finally found it when I resorted to my map app like a lost driving dad who resorts to asking for directions at a gas station, embarrassed, humbled in front of his children that he doesn't have all of the answers. It was in an industrial building sans signage, without a marked entrance, with people hovering outside, signs down at their feet, shuffling pamphlets they were supposed to be handing out to sway last minute voters but they didn't approach me. After walking the length of the building a few times, puzzled as to whether this was the spot, I asked one lady where the entrance was and she pointed me to a shady door. Again I wanted to skip out on voting, but I felt like I should put myself at risk in order to earn my future bitching about government. It was a  half-assed polling operation, a shoddy table with a couple of duct taped binders. There were only two voting booths. The power went out briefly and sent their scantrons into momentary dysfunction. I was asked to claim my party, I thought about claiming Republican for the hell of it so it could vote in that primary, maybe for Newt as a funny joke, but I didn't want my name being in the books as a Grand Old Partier. They said I couldn't register nonpartisan or green so I registered as a democrat and voted for Barack Obama as the only nominee. There were a lot of  judges up for election. I voted in one of them, for a guy whose name I remembered because he handed out fliers at my L stop and he seemed like a really nice guy, and in reading his flier he seemed like he had depth in his law experience. I also voted for him because I tried thinking of it in terms of if I was going on trial for something, who would I want presiding over me; a nice, reasonable guy. 

With each election I realize how ill prepared I am in researching all of the different positions going up for a vote, like water reclamation, and the plethora of judge positions. So I don't vote for those. It would make me feel even more guilty for voting blindly at what name sounds the snazziest. And I realize I've spent so much time following the Republican race, and it's not something I actually vote in. I really should have learned about all of those ambitious judge contenders in that time! But the Republican race is so easy to follow, because it's noisy. I watch it the same way someone probably watches a soap opera. As much as a I can say, yeah, woo! I voted today! It does feel rather pointless. Mostly I accomplished wearing further the hole in the sole of my shoe in racing to the poll before close. Just going through the motions of citizenship. I may as well have worn a Darth Vader mask with a T-shirt that says "Darth Voter" to get some laughs out of some politically weary people showing up due to a democratic guilt, equally as ill informed. 

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